Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Back to Basics with Bison Burgers!
Well, this is day 5 for me with Bell's Palsy, and very fortunately, I am already starting to see some small improvements. I have learned from reading a super-helpful forum on the subject that 50% of people with BP recover completely in 3 months or less, an additional 35% recover in a year or less, and 15% don't fully recover. A lot of people don't see any improvement at all for 6-8 weeks, so I feel like I am making fabulous progress. I can now close my left eye and drink out of a glass without spilling, and my face is getting more symmetrical. I KNOW this is due to all the positive vibes and good wishes from all of you out there, so THANK YOU, and keep that good energy coming for a speedy and complete recovery!
I am feeling ok, though I am very fatigued. I've pretty much just been resting in bed the past several days. I have been advised to take it easy for the next two weeks, as the nerves in my face begin to regenerate. I went out today to the dr. and the pharmacy, picked up a few groceries, and then had lunch with DC, and was completely exhausted. I guess 3 hrs. of activity was too much! So I took a long nap, and feel much better. So much better, in fact, that I actually cooked dinner tonight!!
This is not really what I would normally consider a "blog-worthy" meal, but under the circumstances I am so excited I'm going to share anyway. We've been subsisting on take-out food for the past week or so, and I really wanted to find a way to get us out of that rut and into some healthier and tastier homemade food. So I am totally cheating this week with some help from my friends at Whole Foods.
I bought some pre-made bison burger patties for dinner tonight, along with some sweet potatoes and microwave-in-the-bag pre-prepped veggies. In order to make all this prefabrication palatable, I figured I would focus on oomphing up the flavor with condiments.
I know I have shown these before, but they are a huge family fave and really easy to make and so tasty and healthy. So here is a quick look at my
Sweet Potato Oven Fries
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil. I also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray. Peel 3 sweet potatoes. Garnets are my favorite, and I also really like the locally-grown purple sweet potatoes, which are very high in antioxidants. So today I used a mixture. Slice the potatoes into steak fries. Put them in a really big bowl, toss generously with some olive oil, and add the seasoning of your choice. We love cajun seasoning mix, and sometimes, but not today, I add some generous splashes of Cholula hot sauce. Dump the potatoes onto the prepped baking sheet and spread out in one layer. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender. I like to turn the oven off and then leave the fries in the warm oven to crisp up for 10-15 minutes while I prep the rest of the meal.
Whoo, that was one hot oven! It totally fogged up the camera lens!
"Lemon-aise" Sauce for Steamed Veggies
DC isn't a huge veggie fan, but I have been able to tempt him to eat reasonable servings of veggies by dressing them up with various condiments. This simple sauce is also a huge family favorite, and is extremely tasty on plain veggies. It couldn't be easier to make!
Squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon into a bowl and whisk in mayonnaise to your taste. Add tamari or Pickapeppa sauce to taste. Crush one clove of garlic into the mixture, and add salt and pepper to taste. Taste again, and add more garlic, lemon, or mayo to suit your taste. Spoon over steamed veggies.
Sweet-Hot Pepperjack Bison Patties
I purchased 3 pre-made bison burger patties and as you know, I love my food spicy, so a sweet-hot combo sounded good to me. Bison tastes similar to ground beef (in my opinion, is actually even tastier) yet is much lower in fat. DC had never tried bison, so I decided to give it a go. I heated up my trusty griddle and sprinkled it with a thin layer of kosher salt, to give the burgers a nice crust. I think these weighed in at about 8 oz. each. I cooked them for 5-6 minutes on side 1, adding a bit of salt and pepper to the tops.
Then I turned them and cooked them for another 5-6 minutes, again adding a little salt and pepper.
Next, I brushed the top of each burger with a delicious product we have just discovered that is locally made, called Num Num Sauce. It is indeed nummy!! Isn't the little bottle cute?
Our WF sells it, and we just love it on salmon. It's a little like East Carolina BBQ sauce, but thicker and sweeter. It comes in Mild and Hot (I always go for the hot, natch!).
Then I added a slice of Pepperjack cheese to each patty and let them cook for another 3 minutes or so. I guess the fact that the cheese didn't totally melt should have clued me into the fact that they were still a bit rare when I pulled them off the griddle at that point and served them. DC liked his as it was, but as I have no desire to complicate my life further with food poisoning at this point, I popped my patty into the microwave to cook it through. Next time I'll know to either flatten the patties out or cook them longer. DC loved his bison burger!
At that point, DS returned home from having dinner with his dad and immediately came into the kitchen to ask what smelled so good! He has really been missing my cooking since I've been feeling sick. It has broken my heart, but lately every night around 9ish, he pokes his head into the family room and asks hopefully, "Dessert?" Well, tonight he didn't have to be disappointed. He even had a choice! WF had Ben and Jerry's ice cream on sale 2 for 1, so I bought some vanilla and also the Cinnamon Bun flavor DS has been wanting to try. I also bought some vanilla cupcakes. Frosting vs. ice cream?? The cupcakes won, hands down! Even though I didn't have the energy to make a homemade dessert, I still managed to put a smile on DS's sweet face.
Here is our very simple, yet delicious meal of Sweet-Hot PepperJack Bison Burgers, sweet potato oven fries, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower with lemonaise sauce:
It felt SO good to get back into the kitchen, even if I didn't really "make" the food!
CLICK to enlarge image